15 March 2013
If my house was about to burn down, one of the things I’d grab would be my book of quotes. Not quotes from famous people – my childrens’ quotes, the fascinating insights I’ve scribbled in a cheap exercise book, into how they construct their reality, their world. The funny lines you’re positive you’ll never forget, but do.
It all began one day when the Amazon Princess (now at uni, then 4) called Madonna, ‘McDonna’. I realised she’d been saying a lot of interesting things that shed light on her unfiltered, uncultured and inquiring mind. She’d also just announced that she wanted to marry Daddy when she grew up, to the protests of the Devil’s Advocate (then 2) who piped up that she wanted to marry her sister, the Amazon Princess.
Recording these things is like taking a verbal snapshot. They still make our family laugh, like a shared, ‘had to be there’ joke that never fails to produce a chuckle, a grimace, or a guffaw in the case of their father. We can never drive past a country town cemetery without someone commenting, ‘what a cute little town’ it is, reminding the Amazon Princess of her first impressions.
Or we remember the Devil’s Advocate’s first career choice of wanting to be a skeleton when she grew up. You have to love these early desires and ambitions before the real world kicks in.
One day the Devil’s Advocate (then 3) had her undies on inside out. Aware of her fierce desire for independence, I asked her if she needed any help. “No thank you,” she replied. “I like the flowers near my boppom.” Where does that free spirit in us go?
I could go on forever and bore you with lines I’d find much funnier than you, because they’re my children. (Actually, I couldn’t because these offerings have been heavily censored by the teenage mafia). But I would have forgotten a lot of them if I hadn’t written them down, and I’m vaguely aware I’ve missed a lot. Only one more I promise. The Amazon Princess (a lot older than 4) looks out the kitchen window to see her first corellas. “Oh, look at those cockatoos without their cocka!”
When do they stop? I don’t know. My newest entry yesterday from the DA, discussing ‘bro bono’ legal assistance in her essay (so, I broke my promise). I must go and write it down.